Dorothy: “…and it’s that if I ever go looking for my heart’s desire again, I won’t look any further than my own backyard; because if it isn’t there, I never really lost it to begin with.”
One of my fondest memories of childhood is when my mom took my brother and I to see “The Wizard of Oz” (1939). My associations with movies are so vivid that I have a photographic recollection of the movie theatre we saw it at in Panama (it has since been demolished). I remembered being completely stunned when Dorothy opens that door and everything turns into Technicolor – and she begins to cross the threshold into a full-on fantasy world. It’s probably the most significant movie moment of my childhood. I remember understanding that the transition into color created an emotional reaction. On the first day of class I explain to my students that angles, shots and other techniques in cinema are highly intellectual, but color is all about our sensations, and they’re fully open to interpretation. And it’s the usage of that yellow brick road that is so enticing – such a warm color!
Dorothy does not go from black and white as some people suggest. The Kansas sequence at the beginning of the film is in sepia tones, reddish brown and white. What’s the difference? Black and white is stark, and recessive – and capable of suggesting ambiguities and other psychological and moral undertones. The farm sequences have a warmth to them. Yes, it’s a poor environment, but there’s a lot of love and care being conveyed. The sepia tones add a sense of nostalgia – as if we were looking at old photographs full of cherished memories. I recently read that it was Herman J. Mankiewicz (screenwriter of “Citizen Kane”) who was instrumental in the writing of that first pivotal first section. The studio had assigned a few writers to work on the adaptation of Frank L. Baum’s cherished book “The Wizard of Oz.” After just a few days, he handed in pages that became known as “the Kansas sequence.” Baum does not spend much time in the farm before Dorothy is transported. Mankiewicz – who was not credited for his work – felt that spending time in Kansas was essential to ground her character – so that we could relate to Dorothy in a real environment before jetting off to a magical one.
Unlike the novel, in the film it is made clear that Dorothy is dreaming the journey to Oz. As the tornado arrives, her window hits her head – knocking her into bed. While she lays there, and half-consciously looks out – we visually get a montage of her subconscious. And I adore this moment for its cinematic ingenuity. The visions on the window include the barn with chickens blowing by with a whimsical underscoring. The music turns loving as we see Auntie Em on a rocking chair knitting something. A smiling cow goes by – and then a canoe being rowed by friendly farmhands Hunk and Zeke who will be seen later in Oz as two of her companions on the yellow brick road. They wave at her. Then the music turns ominous and we see Miss Gulch on a bike – and in a full display of Dorothy’s innermost feelings – we see her as the Wicked Witch on a broom. The bed stops turning and the house lands on the ground and nineteen minutes and thirty one seconds into the film Dorothy opens the door. In 1956, there will be another significant door opening in John Ford’s “The Searchers” into the extraordinary Monument Valley – and in 1977, a young boy will open his bedroom to the outer space in Steven Spielberg’s “Close Encounters of the Third Kind.”
In the opening scene, Dorothy is running away from the camera – away from us. Her age is significant. She’s on the cusp of adulthood. Her journey is one of growth and of understanding her potentials. She fends for herself and Toto on their journey away from home – and learns lessons and makes friends along the way. By the end of the film, she has learnt the most valuable lesson. That’s what is so enduring about this story. We all have opened that door.
Finally, I’ll share that of all the famous songs that you hear in this classic, I’m partial towards “Optimistic Voices” – the tune that is sung by a chorus as Dorothy and her friends arrive to the Emerald City. I have sung it to myself in the most difficult times of my life as a mantra to help me keep optimistic and moving forward. In the past nine months, I have repeatedly sung it under my breath.
Chorus: “You’re out of the woods, you’re out of the dark, you’re out of the night,
Step into the sun, step into the light.
Keep straight ahead for the most glorious place on the face of the earth or the
Hold onto your breath, hold onto your heart, hold onto your hope,
March up to that gate and bid it open.”
Available to stream on HBO MAX, TBS, TNT and DIRECTV and to rent on Microsoft, Google Play, YouTube, iTunes, FandangoNOW, Vudu, Apple TV, Amazon Prime Video, Redbox, DIRECTV and AMC Theatres on Demand.
Screenplay by Noel Langley, Florence Ryerson and Edgar Allan Woolf
Adaptation by Noel Langley. Based on the book by L. Frank Baum
Directed by Victor Fleming and King Vidor
Starring Judy Garland, Frank Morgan, Ray Bolger, Bert Lahr, Jack Haley, Billie Burke, Margaret Hamilton and Charley Grapewin
The Making of “The Wizard of Oz”
The men who made “The Wizard of Oz” came from an age before television. Think of Nicholas Schenck, the owner of MGM parent company Loew’s (who liked his underlings to address him as ‘the General’) and MGM head Louis B Mayer, who gave “Oz” the go ahead. However, if producer Mervyn LeRoy were telling the story of “Oz,” forget Mayer: his would be the name in lights. Mayer brought him into MGM as a successor to the legendary producer Irving Thalberg. LeRoy was considered one of the nicest guys in Hollywood, but in his memoirs he never missed an opportunity to take credit for the film’s success. He said that it was his idea to cast Garland as Dorothy, his idea to use Technicolor for the Oz scenes, his idea, dammit, to make the film in the first place. While LeRoy was blowing his own horn, Arthur Freed, his musically brilliant associate producer, didn’t even get a credit on “Oz.” But it was almost certainly Freed who suggested to Mayer that they adapt L Frank Baum’s book for the movies. And Freed was sending Mayer casting suggestions before LeRoy was hired. LeRoy and Schenck wanted to buy box office insurance for the film and as such they pushed for Shirley Temple to take the role of Dorothy Gale. Freed had other ideas. In 1935, a young woman auditioned for him and his songwriting partner Roger Edens. As soon as the girl opened her mouth, Freed rushed to fetch Mayer, who burst into tears on hearing her sing. ‘What did I tell you, boss?’ Freed said. ‘She’s going to be a big star!’ That girl, of course, was Garland. Victor Fleming, the film’s main director, liked to say obstacles made for a better picture. He’d come to the right place when he pitched up in “Oz.” LeRoy remembered the making of the film as ‘one gigantic headache’. The directors’ revolving door was a tiny feature at the foot of the extraordinary edifice conceived by dozens of writers and producers, built by hundreds of carpenters and electricians, and peopled by a cast of thousands. It was unprecedented in size and ambition. ‘The biggest set will be Munchkinland,’ wrote Cedric Gibbons, the head of the art department, in a pre-production memo. ‘On it will be 122 structures, one-fourth normal size. It will take a month to build.’ Such sang-froid: Munchkinland was only one of the 65 sets constructed for the film over six soundstages in Culver City, the home of MGM Studios. The extravagant spirit of the film translated into a score of meticulous and highly specialised jobs. Twenty men spent a week sticking 40,000 wire-stemmed poppies into the ground for the scenes in the enchanted poppy field. To create the eerie cries in the Haunted Forest, Douglas Shearer, the film’s sound designer, took a team to Santa Catalina, a Pacific island 20-odd miles south of Los Angeles. There they recorded birdcalls on 15,000ft of tape, which they later spun together into unearthly shrieks.
Victor Fleming strode on to set in November 1938. He arrived to rescue the production after LeRoy dismissed the first director, Richard Thorpe, less than a month into filming. Thorpe, he explained, ‘just didn’t understand the story… to make a fairy story you have to think like a kid’.
How LeRoy figured that Fleming was the wide-eyed boy to handle Oz is a mystery. Fleming was known as a man’s man and he didn’t have time for foolishness. Garland had picked up a reputation for ruining takes with her giggling on the set of Listen, Darling. In a scene with the Cowardly Lion, Bert Lahr, she found his clowning so irresistible that she fell about laughing. Fleming slapped her face. ‘All right now,’ he growled, ‘go back to your dressing room.’ For a week in between Thorpe’s firing and Fleming’s hiring, George Cukor took up residence in the director’s chair…In the short time he worked on “Oz” he made over Garland’s Dorothy, removing her blonde wig and stripping off her heavy make-up. And he urged her to play Dorothy straight: ‘don’t act fancy-schmancy’, he said. Towards the end of production – which finally wrapped on March 16 1939 – a fourth director entered the mix: King Vidor. Fleming had shot about 80 per cent of the film when he was pulled to take over direction on “Gone With The Wind.” So it was down to Vidor to shoot all the Kansas sequences, including the iconic scene in which Garland walks around the barnyard singing “Over the Rainbow.” When Fleming returned to edit the movie, that scene caused him a great deal of grief. It had been written by Harold Arlen as a ballad to segue from Kansas to “Oz,” but Fleming thought it made the movie drag and cut it. Arlen and the lyricist, Yip Harburg, were frantic. ‘We knew that this was the ballad of the show,’ Harburg said. ‘This is the number we were depending on. We decided to take action. We went to the front office; we went to the back office; we pleaded; we cried; we tore our hair.’ In the end, it was Mayer who got Fleming to rethink his decision. ‘The song went back in the picture’, Harburg said, ‘and of course you know what happened next.’ (telegraph.co.uk)
About Judy Garland
Actress and singer Garland was born Frances Ethel Gumm on June 10, 1922, in Grand Rapids, Minnesota. Garland, the star of many classic musical films, was known for her tremendous talent and troubled life. The daughter of vaudeville professionals, she started her stage career as a child. Garland was called “Baby Gumm” and sang “Jingle Bells” at her first public performance at the age of two and a half. With her two older sisters, Susie and Jimmie, Garland soon began performing as part of the Gumm Sisters. In 1926, the Gumm family moved to California where Garland and her sisters studied acting and dancing. They played numerous gigs that their mother, Ethel, had arranged for them as their manager and agent. In the late 1920s, the Gumm sisters also appeared in several short films. The Gumm sisters transformed into the Garland sisters at the World’s Fair in Chicago in 1934. Traveling with their mother, the sisters played at a theater with comedian George Jessel, who reportedly suggested they become the Garland sisters. Garland shed her nickname “Baby” in favor of a more mature and vibrant Judy. The following year, she would become a solo act, signing a movie contract with MGM at the age of 13. It was on a radio broadcast that November, however, that Garland debuted one of the songs most closely associated with her, “Zing! Went the Strings of My Heart.” Shortly after the program aired, Garland suffered a great personal loss when her father, Frank, died of spinal meningitis. Despite her personal anguish, Garland continued on her path to film stardom. One of her first feature film roles was in “Pigskin Parade” (1936). Playing a girl-next-door type, Garland went on to co-star in “Love Finds Andy Hardy” (1938), with friend Mickey Rooney. The two proved to be a popular pairing, and they co-starred in several more Andy Hardy films. Not only was she working a lot, but Garland was also under pressure from the studio about her looks and her weight. She was given amphetamines to boost her energy and control her weight. Unfortunately, Garland would soon become reliant on this medication, along with needing other substances to help her sleep. Drug problems would plague her throughout her career.
In 1939, Garland scored one of her greatest on-screen successes with “The Wizard of Oz,” which showcased her singing talents as well as her acting abilities. Garland received a special Academy Award for her portrayal of Dorothy, the girl from Kansas transported to Oz. She soon made several more musicals, including “Strike Up the Band” (1940), “Babes of Broadway” (1942), with Rooney, and “For Me and My Gal” (1943), with Gene Kelly. Garland married for the first time at the age of 19. Her union with bandleader David Rose was decidedly short-lived, however. On the set of “Meet Me in St. Louis” (1944), another of Garland’s signature films, she met director Vincent Minnelli. She officially divorced Rose in 1945 and soon wed Minnelli. The couple also welcomed a daughter, Liza, in 1946. Unfortunately, Garland’s second marriage only lasted a little longer than her first. The Garland-Minnelli union was practically over by 1949 (they officially divorced in 1952). Around this time, Garland began to break down emotionally. Likely exhausted from years of constant work and from all the medications she used to keep herself going, she developed a reputation for being unreliable and unstable. In 1950, MGM dropped her from her contract because of her emotional and physical difficulties. Garland’s career appeared to be spiraling downward. In 1951, Garland started to rebuild her career with help from producer Sid Luft. She starred in her own show on Broadway at the Palace Theater, which drew large crowds and ran for more than 20 weeks. More than simply showcasing her powerful and expressive voice, the revue also proved that Garland was a dedicated performer, helping to dispel the earlier negative stories about her. She earned a special Tony Award for her work on the show and her contributions to vaudeville in 1952. Garland married Luft in 1952, which was a stormy relationship by some reports. They had two children together — daughter Lorna in 1952 and son Joey in 1955. Whatever personal difficulty Garland and Luft had, he had a positive impact on her career and was instrumental in putting together one of her greatest films. Starring opposite James Mason, Garland gave an outstanding performance as a woman who obtains stardom at the price of love in “A Star Is Born” (1954). Her rendition of “The Man That Got Away” is considered one of her best performances on film, and she was nominated for an Academy Award.
In the 1960s, Garland spent more time as a singer than an actress, but she still managed to earn another Academy Award nomination. She played a woman who had been persecuted by the Nazis in 1961’s “Judgment at Nuremberg.” That same year, Garland won Grammy Awards for Best Solo Vocal Performance and Album of the Year, for Judy at Carnegie Hall. Despite all of her success as a singer, these were the only Grammy wins of her career. Garland also tried her hand at series television. From 1963 to 1964, she starred in “The Judy Garland Show.” The program went through many changes in its short run, but its strongest moments featured Garland showcasing her singing ability. Her two daughters, Lorna and Liza, made appearances on the show, as did her old co-star, Rooney. Jazz and pop vocalist Mel Tormé served as the program’s musical adviser. For her work on the show, Garland earned an Emmy Award nomination for Outstanding Performance in a Variety or Musical Program in 1964. Although her television series ended, Garland was still in demand as an entertainer, playing gigs around the world. But her personal life was as troubled as ever. After many separations, Garland divorced Luft in 1965 after a bitter battle over child custody. She quickly remarried — this time to actor Mark Herron. But that union lasted only a few months before dissolving. The pair officially divorced in 1967, the same year Garland made a critically acclaimed return to Broadway for “At Home at the Palace.” The next year, Garland went to London. She was in personal and financial trouble by this time. During performances at London’s Talk of the Town nightclub, Garland was clearly not in good shape on stage. Garland wed former bandleader and club manager Mickey Deans in March 1969. However, just a few months later, on June 22, 1969, she died in London of what was reported to be an accidental overdose. The legacy of Garland has been carried on by her daughters, both of whom are singers and have had varying degrees of success. Lorna wrote about her life with Garland in her 1998 autobiography, “Me and My Shadows: A Family Memoir.” It became the basis for the 2001 television mini-series “Life with Judy Garland: Me and My Shadows.” Both of the featured actresses — Tammy Blanchard as young Judy and Judy Davis as more mature Judy — took home Emmy Awards for their portrayals of the famed entertainer. Despite her premature death, Garland continues to maintain a devoted following. There are countless fan sites online as well as published biographies that explore almost every aspect of her life — from her brilliant talent, her professional successes and failures, and her myriad of personal struggles. In celebration of the late star, the Judy Garland Museum at her birthplace holds an annual festival… (biography.com)
About Author Frank Baum
Born in 1856, Frank Baum (as he was called) grew up in the “Burned-Over District” of New York state, amid the myriad spiritual movements rippling through late-19th-century society. As Schwartz details in his comprehensive and entertaining book, Baum was sent to Peekskill Military Academy at age 12, where his daydreamer spirit suffered under the academy’s harsh discipline. At 14, in the middle of a caning, Baum clutched his chest and collapsed, seemingly suffering a heart attack. That was the end of his tenure in Peekskill, and although he attended a high school in Syracuse, he never graduated and disdained higher education. “You see, in this country there are a number of youths who do not like to work, and the college is an excellent place for them,” he said. Baum did not mind work, but he stumbled through a number of failed enterprises before finding a career that suited him. In his 20s, he raised chickens, wrote plays, ran a theater company, and started a business that produced oil-based lubricants. Baum was a natural entertainer, and so his stint as a playwright and actor brought him the greatest satisfaction out of these early employments, but the work was not steady, and the lifestyle disruptive. By 1882, Baum had reason to desire a more settled life. He had married Maud Gage, a student at Cornell, the roommate of his cousin and the daughter of famous women’s rights campaigner Matilda Josyln Gage. When Baum’s aunt introduced Maud to Frank, she told him that he would love her. Upon first sight, Baum declared, “Consider yourself loved, Miss Gage.” Frank proposed a few months later, and despite her mother’s objections, Maud accepted. Maud was to be Baum’s greatest ally, his “good friend and comrade,” according to the dedication of “Oz,”…On a trip to visit his brother-in-law in South Dakota, Frank decided that real opportunity lay in the wind-swept, barren landscape of the Midwest. He moved his family to Aberdeen and started upon a new series of careers that would just barely keep the Baum family—there were several sons by this time—out of poverty.
Over the next ten years, Frank would run a bazaar, start a baseball club, report for a frontier newspaper and buy dishware for a department store. At age 40, Frank finally threw himself into writing. In the spring of 1898, on scraps of ragged paper, the story of “The Wizard of Oz” took shape. When he was done with the manuscript, he framed the well-worn pencil stub he had used to write the story, anticipating that it had produced something great. When “The Wizard of Oz” was published in 1900 with illustrations by the Chicago-based artist William Wallace Denslow, Baum became not only the best-selling children’s book author in the country, but also the founder of a genre. Until this point, American children read European literature; there had never been a successful American children’s book author. Unlike other books for children, “The Wizard of Oz” was pleasingly informal; characters were defined by their actions rather than authorial discourse; and morality was a subtext rather than a juggernaut rolling through the text. The New York Times wrote that children would be “pleased with dashes of color and something new in the place of the old, familiar, and winged fairies of Grimm and Anderson.”…Denslow, the illustrator of the first edition, used his royalties to purchase a piece of land off the coast of Bermuda and declare himself king. Perhaps intoxicated by the success of his franchise, Baum declared, upon first seeing his grandchild, that the name Ozma suited her much better than her given name, Frances, and her name was changed. (Ozma subsequently named her daughter Dorothy.) Today, there are dozens of events and organizations devoted to sustaining the everlasting emerald glow: a “Wonderful Weekend of Oz” that takes place in upstate New York, an “Oz-stravaganza” in Baum’s birthplace and an International Wizards of Oz club that monitors all things Munchkin, Gillikin, Winkie and Quadling related. More than 100 years after its publication, 70 years after its debut on the big screen and 13 book sequels later, Oz endures. “It’s interesting to note,” wrote the journalist Jack Snow of Oz, “that the first word ever written in the very first Oz book was ‘Dorothy.’ The last word of the book is ‘again.’ And that is what young readers have said ever since those two words were written: ‘We want to read about Dorothy again.’” (smithsonianmag.com)
About Co-Director King Vidor
King Wallis Vidor was born on February 8, 1894, in Galveston, the son of a lumber baron for whom the town of Vidor was named. A teenage stint as a projectionist hooked him on filmmaking. After making homemade movies (one on the 1900 Galveston storm) and shooting and selling newsreel footage, he formed his own company, Hotex, in Houston in 1915. Later that year he moved to California, where he quickly worked his way up from prop boy to director. He churned out at least twenty silents—some starring his first two wives, Florence Arto and Eleanor Boardman—before “The Big Parade” (1925), an acclaimed anti-war epic, made him a Hollywood name. Vidor easily weathered the switch to talkies, starting with “Hallelujah” (1929), the first major film with an all-black cast. He paid tribute to his home state with “The Texas Rangers” (1936), which he wrote with his third wife, Elizabeth Hill. His best-known films include “Stella Dallas” (1937), with Barbara Stanwyck (left) and Anne Shirley (right), and “Duel in the Sun” (1946), starring Jennifer Jones and Gregory Peck. His most familiar work, however, was uncredited: He filmed the black-and-white Kansas scenes in “The Wizard of Oz” (1939). MGM cut so much of “An American Romance” (1944), his rags-to-riches epic about an immigrant steelworker, that he left his longtime studio in a huff and went to work for David O. Selznick and later Warner Bros. During the sixties, Vidor investigated the unsolved 1922 murder of director William Desmond Taylor. His research—including his theory on the shooter’s identity—was published in 1986 in Sidney D. Kirkpatrick’s “A Cast of Killers.” Vidor received a special Oscar in 1979 in recognition of his nonpareil career. He died on November 1, 1982, in Paso Robles, California. (texasmonthly.com)
About Director Victor Fleming
Fleming started in the film industry as a stunt car driver in 1910. A year later he began working for Allan Dwan at the American Film \Manufacturing Company, and by 1915 he was handling the camera for D.W. Griffith. During World War I he served as a photographer for the U.S. Army. Fleming’s first feature film, “When the Clouds Roll By” (1919), starred Douglas Fairbanks, and he directed several more movies before signing a contract with Paramount in 1922. Among the many prestigious silents he helmed were “The Way of All Flesh” (1927) with Emil Jannings, Hula (1927) with Clara Bow, and Abie’s Irish Rose (1928), an adaptation of the long-running Broadway show. In 1929 Fleming directed Gary Cooper in two westerns, “The Wolf Song” and “The Virginian,” an adaptation of Owen Wister’s popular novel. Although the latter was filmed several times, Fleming’s early talkie remains definitive, thanks to Cooper’s star-making turn as a charismatic ranch foreman and Walter Huston’s portrayal of a cattle rustler. After “The Wolf Song” and “The Virginian,” Fleming left Paramount and subsequently directed (with Fairbanks) the travelogue “Around the World in 80 Minutes” with Douglas Fairbanks (1931). Fleming signed at MGM in 1932 and quickly became one of the studio’s top directors. “The Wet Parade” (1932), a well-received adaptation of Upton Sinclair’s book about Prohibition, featured Huston and Myrna Loy. More popular was “Red Dust” (1932), arguably the best of several teamings of Clark Gable and Jean Harlow. A major box-office hit, the steamy jungle romance was filmed before censorship rules were tightened, and it featured teasing sexual banter that soon vanished from the screen. Fleming re-teamed with Harlow on another success, “Bombshell” (1933), a satire of Hollywood, in which Lee Tracy was especially funny as an unscrupulous press agent.
In 1934 Fleming turned to family fare with “Treasure Island,” a solid adaptation of the oft-filmed Robert Louis Stevensonnovel; it starred Wallace Beery as Long John Silver and Jackie Cooper as Jim Hawkins. “Reckless” (1935), however, was one of Fleming’s rare misfires at MGM. The musical featured Harlow—though her dancing scenes were performed by doubles and her singing was dubbed—and it proved controversial for a plotline that seemed to draw on the 1932 suicide of her husband, Paul Bern. Fleming rebounded with the hugely successful “Captains Courageous” (1937). The family drama was a sentimental but affecting version of the Rudyard Kipling novel about a spoiled rich boy (played by Freddie Bartholomew) who learns about life after falling from an ocean liner and being rescued by fishermen. Spencer Tracy won his first Academy Award for his performance as the Portuguese fisherman who befriends the boy, and the film was also nominated for a best picture Oscar…In 1939 Fleming helped make two of Hollywood’s all-time classics—though neither began with him as the director. “The Wizard of Oz,” a musical based on L. Frank Baum’s novel, was initially directed by Richard Thorpe, but he was fired soon after filming began. Several directors subsequently worked on the production, though Fleming was the only one to receive credit; King Vidor was responsible for the black-and-white Kansas scenes. A box-office disappointment when first released, it later became a family classic and an icon of pop culture, with numerous memorable songs, quotes, and characters. It also made a star of Judy Garland.
“The Wizard of Oz” was nominated for a best picture Oscar, but it lost to Fleming’s second 1939 classic, “Gone with the Wind,” an adaptation of Margaret Mitchell’s romance saga of Scarlet O’Hara (Vivien Leigh) and Rhett Butler (Gable). Here again, Fleming was not the original director. He replaced George Cukor after, according to rumour, Gable threatened a work stoppage unless Cukor was fired. However, the production problems continued as Fleming suffered a nervous breakdown during the shoot, and Sam Wood was brought in to direct while he recovered. The final cut includes work by Cukor, Fleming, and Wood, but only Fleming was awarded an Oscar for best director. The film won a total of 10 Academy Awards (two of which were honorary), and it became one of the highest-grossing movies of all time. Fleming began the decade with “Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde” (1941), an adaptation of Stevenson’s short novel; it was widely considered inferior to Rouben Mamoulian’s acclaimed 1931 version. Fleming’s film featured a somewhat miscast Tracy alongside Ingrid Bergman and Lana Turner. In 1942 Fleming paired Tracy with Hedy Lamarr in a solid adaptation of John Steinbeck’s “Tortilla Flat,” but Tracy’s portrayal of a gruff fisherman was less effective there than in “Captains Courageous.” Tracy returned for “A Guy Named Joe” (1943), co-starring with Irene Dunne in an overlong but often moving love story. Fleming was absent from the screen until 1945, when he released the much-publicized “Adventure,” Gable’s first film following his service in World War II. However, few moviegoers were excited by the unlikely pairing of Gable and Greer Garson. The strained romantic comedy was a major box-office disappointment, and it ended Fleming’s long and illustrious tenure at MGM. His next—and final—movie was “Joan of Arc” (1948)…Bergman and co-star José Ferrer both received Oscar nominations. (britannica.com)